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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets
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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets

  #4371 (permalink)
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Finished the week up about 180 ticks, but feel I traded poorly. I traded countertrend more than with the trend, and found myself hesitating or passing on great trades with the trend, only to feel motivated to enter smaller moves that were worse setups.

My head is still really messed up from taking a big hit. It was not the same as a losing trade, it was not the trade going against me, it was me going against myself that causes the psychological turmoil. That is a side of myself I had not seen for a long time, thought I had become better than that. And when I saw that I wasn't, it was a huge shock to my system. I have lost 10 pounds since then, just from lack of interest in eating and the energy expended through anxiety.

I think I was pushing myself too hard for too long, but how that turned into what occured I do not understand. I did have a thought that it may be something similar to PTSD, and a relapse from a trade years ago came back. Weird thought maybe, but it is the best I have been able to come up with.

@Big Mike suggested I get away from charts altogether for awhile, and it is not that I don't agree with him. It is that studying and trading has become such a huge part of my life that I feel lost without it. I have worked on bringing other things in to occupy the time, but it is just not the same. I have started playing some guitar, calling friends I have not spoken with for awhile, have been listening to the Eckhart Tolle book, but I have discovered I am not comfortable without something to engage my mind. And discovered that the process of my mind is almost single-focused on finding a way to make substantial money. Why? I think it is just all I know to do. I am not thinking that is good, but just being aware of it.

I started researching proprietary trading firms quite a bit this week. After learning about Topstep Trader here I decided to see what else there was. I was really hoping to find a place in Orlando where I could go and trade with others, but the closest I could find was Miami. I am thinking I would really enjoy and benefit from the experience of being with other traders, discussing trades and setups and mindsets and psychology. Mostly the human interaction. I have spent the past 5 years or more feeling alone.

On the trading side, I started trading sim again this week, in CL, 6E, TF and ES, and made the object to hold a trade until it hit either my target or stop. Setting both wide distances from price and experiencing the moves back and forth, sometimes for hours. I finished up in sim as well, but do not recall the numbers. Nothing too impressive, maybe $500.


Last edited by GaryD; October 6th, 2012 at 09:43 AM.
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  #4372 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
Finished the week up about 1800 ticks, but feel I traded poorly.

Is this a typo?

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  #4373 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
Finished the week up about 1800 ticks, but feel I traded poorly.

I think this thread just jumped the shark.
Sorry you only got 1800 ticks.

Failure is not an option
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  #4374 (permalink)
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Futures Operator View Post
Is this a typo?

No, but some of the wins were bad trades. Or not very good ones anyway. Just really not feeling in synch recently.

I would watch a trend run all day, then try to catch the major turning point. Not a very smart strategy, but I was just so slow to respond this week. And I also did things like take a loss on one contract, scalp it back on 2. Or average into a trade with 1,2,3, but then take 5 ticks on the first exit, etc. Or if I had taken some heat even getting down in size at breakeven without even allowing a chance for profit. Hit max down one day, scalped out of it anyway. Largest win was maybe 25 ticks.

Things like that.

 
  #4375 (permalink)
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Futures Operator View Post
Is this a typo?

Oh wait, yes it is a typo. $1800 / 180 ticks. Sorry about that.

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  #4376 (permalink)
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lancelottrader View Post
I think this thread just jumped the shark.
Sorry you only got 1800 ticks.

My mistake. No, I learned my lesson recently.

 
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GaryD View Post
Oh wait, yes it is a typo. $1800 / 180 ticks. Sorry about that.

Ah, ok...pretty big difference there, lol .

Still, nothing to sneeze at....is this a typical 'poorly traded' week for you? What does a typical, or good week look like?

 
  #4378 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
No, but some of the wins were bad trades. Or not very good ones anyway. Just really not feeling in synch recently.

I would watch a trend run all day, then try to catch the major turning point. Not a very smart strategy, but I was just so slow to respond this week. And I also did things like take a loss on one contract, scalp it back on 2. Or average into a trade with 1,2,3, but then take 5 ticks on the first exit, etc. Or if I had taken some heat even getting down in size at breakeven without even allowing a chance for profit. Hit max down one day, scalped out of it anyway. Largest win was maybe 25 ticks.

Things like that.

Are these things bad becuase they're not part of or against your plan/rules?

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  #4379 (permalink)
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Futures Operator View Post
Ah, ok...pretty big difference there, lol .

Still, nothing to sneeze at....is this a typical 'poorly traded' week for you? What does a typical, or good week look like?

The net was higher than average, and part of it is related to a big drawdown I took recently. And that is where the "traded poorly" comes in. My reasons were off. I did some things I would not normally do.

I'll give a direct example. I went long, had a 20 tick stop. Price moved against me 12 ticks, I averaged in. Then price got within 3 ticks of my stop, I went in 5 total. Now it is not the total risk that is the problem, I had 20 on 1, 8 on the second, and 3 on 3 more, so my risk was 37 ticks total on 5 contracts. That much I had a handle on and thought through before i did it. But the REASON I went in so hard was that it went against me.

I did make money on the trade, 31 ticks total, but my risk reward perception is skewed.

It did not help me that the trade ran 300 ticks in my favor after I was flat, and never would have reached my stop.

Just a weird week.

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Futures Operator View Post
Are these things bad becuase they're not part of or against your plan/rules?

The motivation is wrong. Something I am becoming very aware of and also believing has great importance. I have spent the past week working through some issues related to it, and it is making me more aware of it in some things I do. Most of the things are not necessarily against rules, but against beliefs when I am flat. It is the motivation while in a trade that is concerning.

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